Memo­rial Ser­vice: Alex Beck­ett

The Oldie - - CONTENTS - James Hughes-on­slow

Hugh Bon­neville led Jes­sica Hynes, Nina Sosanya and Ja­son Watkins, the cast from the BBC come­dies Twenty Twelve and W1A, in a trib­ute to their co-star Alex Beck­ett, who took his own life while suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion. They told how his char­ac­ter, the in­for­ma­tion ar­chi­tect Barney Lums­den, could sell the virtues of an Olympic count­down clock de­signed to count back­wards, or a new BBC logo that did away with the let­ters B, B and C.

‘Alex was able to find a way of in­vest­ing his char­ac­ter with a gen­uine be­lief in these con­cepts right up to the mo­ment when they were ex­posed as com­pletely use­less,’ said Sosanya.

‘He had a qual­ity that not only made him funny but made ev­ery­body around him fun­nier at a stroke, and was some­thing to do with a gen­eros­ity of spirit that was in him,’ said Watkins.

Bon­neville told St Paul’s Church, Covent Gar­den, ‘We’d like to close by show­ing a couple of short clips of our dear col­league Alex do­ing what he did best.’

Ac­tor Rory Kin­n­ear said, ‘I felt I could tell Alex any­thing. We talked about ev­ery­thing, and yet he couldn’t tell me ex­actly how bad things had got – or per­haps had al­ways been.

‘Alex was so smart, so quick, so wildly funny that – de­spite be­ing five years older than him – I found my­self pa­thet­i­cally des­per­ate to im­press him. Alex was a fan­tas­ti­cally gifted ac­tor, ef­fort­lessly lend­ing any role both light­ness and weight.’

Kin­n­ear also read a mov­ing eu­logy from Beck­ett’s step­son Dy­lan: ‘Alex was al­ways there for me. Polishing my school shoes, mak­ing my bed, giv­ing me lifts ev­ery­where, do­ing my wash­ing, lit­er­ally ev­ery­thing... We love him to the moon and back. I am so grate­ful that I got so lucky to have him as a dad.’

Ac­tor Daniel Rigby, telling how he has suf­fered from de­pres­sion him­self, said Alex was one of the fun­ni­est peo­ple he had ever met: ‘I have a pro­found sense of grat­i­tude to have known such a beau­ti­ful id­iot. But it might have been so much worse. We might never have known him.’

In­tro­duc­ing the hymn Bread of Heaven, the Rev Si­mon Grigg said, ‘There is not one per­son who would wish to be here. For many, it may be the first time they have mourned the death of a con­tem­po­rary. Thirty-five is no age, cer­tainly for such a live spark. Let not the man­ner of his death cloud a good life.’ JAMES HUGHES-ON­SLOW

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.